Friday, June 20, 2008

odds and ends

— The committees of Mayor A C Wharton's Sustainable Shelby met in a digital congress yesterday to vote on the initiative's priorities. Using a "clicker" — it looked just like a little remote — members of the initiative ranked the various committee's recommendations from 1, strongly disagree, to 7, strongly agree.

No surprise, there were a lot of 7s in the house (and only four recommendations out of 52 got a majority of 5s).

To begin, Wharton called sustainability "plain good business" and reminded the assembly of the kickoff meeting in March. At that meeting, Joe Cortright said that if we could get citizens to shave 2 miles off their daily drive, it would save a combined $280 million. (That they could then spend on other things.)

"There is no doubt that sustainable communities do more than improve the environment," Wharton said. "They result in considerable savings that lead to economic growth."

The complete agenda will be presented at a Sustainable Shelby Call to Action public meeting Tuesday, July 8th, 2:30 p.m. at the Botanic Garden.

— Is mixed-use enough? Architect Keith Ray argues that omni-use is required to revitalize areas.

— Related to yesterday's post about infrastructure, Houston has just approved five light rail lines, to be completed by 2012. If I recall correctly, 2012 is the year that Memphis' light rail line, announced eight years ago and scheduled to run down Lamar to the airport, might be done.


Anonymous said...

In my view, the Memphis light rail line to the airport would be an expensive white elephant. It would help commuters how? By getting all the people who live downtown and work at the airport (all 6 of them) to and from work quickly? It doesn't address the where people in Memphis actually live and work. We would be much better off firing most of the higher ups at MATA, and starting up the bus system from scratch, making it rider friendly and very robust in regards to routes and times. As it is now, it's a joke.

marycash said...

One of my colleagues recently asked what good a rail line to the airport would be if we don't have any flights ...

The upcoming issue of the Flyer asks whether MATA could have opted for a simpler, less expensive option to light rail — express buses, clearer schedules, and shorter waiting times — and actually increase ridership more.